It's important to give children with autism structure and social development opportunities after school lets out in summer. Keeping your child engaged and active will prevent regression during the break from school. Summer camp programs are an excellent way to continue progress in positive behaviors and social skills. Massachusetts has several types of camps for kids with autism.
The Bridge Center
The Bridge Center is an organization in Bridgewater with a mission to provide support to families who have children with disabilities. It has a summer program called Camp Connect, which is designed especially for children with autism. Kids will have the opportunity to engage in team-building activities, horseback riding, swimming, archery and social skills groups. The camp activities are meant to help with socialization and communication development in an enjoyable environment. Each child who attends the camp is carefully placed in a small group in order to closely monitor progress.
The CORSE Foundation
The CORSE Foundation -- Community of Resources for Special Education -- is based in North Scituate. It offers a range of services for families with children with disabilities. The summer camps offered are customized to meet the specific needs of the children, including those with autism. Kids can participate in sports camps that teach water sports such as sailing, canoeing, windsurfing and paddle-boarding. Another camp focuses on teaching kids to ride two-wheel bikes during the week of camp.
The Center for Social Development and Education offers a summer camp program known as Camp Shriver. Located in Boston, it enrolls an equal number of children with and without disabilities for a week of summer sports programming. Children with autism might benefit from such a program because it helps them make friends and have positive experiences with a diverse population of children.
Confidence Connection in Needham specializes in educating children with special needs. It has an eight-week summer camp program for children with autism. It aims to meet the social and behavioral needs of kids with autism in a 1:1 and 2:1 ratio. With this individualized care each child receives, the program is able to focus on many skills including academic, cooking, team-building, yoga, speech therapy and music therapy.
Aspire is an organization dedicated to providing children with autism the skills and knowledge needed to develop an independent, successful life. Based in Charlestown, its summer camp features therapeutic and recreational activities in order to develop social connections and meaningful relationships. Often music, art and drama activities are included in the therapeutic programming. The aim of the camp is to help kids become more self-aware, develop better coping skills and learn how to establish friendships.